When you appreciate the greenspaces around NYC, do you ever stop to think about the people who make those spaces so enjoyable? Artist Fanny Allié hopes you do, and her new sculpture exhibition called Shadows brings those park workers to the forefront.
The mixed-media artist created 10 colorful sculptures inspired by the workers who maintain Bella Abzug Park (542 W 36th St.). To create the sculptures, Allié spent time with each person and asked them to pose in a manner that reflected themselves. She captured their poses on film, drew their outlines and translated them into steel silhouettes. Each worker chose their sculpture’s color.
"In Hudson Yards, surrounded by tall buildings and concrete, Bella Abzug Park is a patch of greenery where anyone can sit, relax and reflect. It’s a vital resource, and it wouldn’t function without the workers who clean, sweep, look after, watch, plant, dig and trim it," Allié said in a press release. "My intention is to highlight the presence of 10 of these workers through their body outlines and voices, allowing visitors to get to know them and making visible individuals, experiences, and work that can sometimes be overlooked. Through this site-specific installation, I hope to trigger a connection between the workers, the public, and the park and create a multi-sensory experience around the sculptures."
The exhibit invites people to experience the park in a new way as a place for compelling, free art. In addition to the sculptures, visitors can scan a QR code to hear the subjects sing songs, whistle, hum, laugh and share stories about their work.
The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance commissioned Allié to create the new public art, which will be on view until September 2023.
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